“…The Greyhound website promised new luxury buses, complete with plush seats, power sockets and wifi for my overnight journey to Toronto, Canada – a short break from the US. As I watched the coach fill up, I relaxed in the station smugly ignoring the big rush to board. Suckers… As the bus slowly pulled away, I realised the reason for the urgency – Greyhound tickets do not guarantee a seat and additional transport is provided for those who don’t make it on. Cue the dilapidated ghetto bus which trundled around the corner into the space previously occupied by the new pimped up coach. I spotted the First Bus Travel logo on the back – Greyhound had been bought out by the mickey-mouse Scottish company running the system in my hometown – ‘go figure’.
A sleepless night later, I met my old university buddy Senait who kindly put me up in Hamilton. We spent a day at Niagara Falls where I considered the awesome power of nature and spread rumours that ‘they switched it off at night’. Surrounding the falls is a sprawling thoroughfare of gaudy tourist traps, restaurants and hotels. Having devoured a massive ice-cream and beat my friend at air-hockey in the arcades, we went to a haunted house which featured ‘live’ interactive monsters who teased, grabbed, chased and taunted brave visitors. It might be an understatement to say it terrified me – I screeched like a girl and remained firmly behind Senait, yelping as actors grasped my waist in the pitch darkness. I wondered what it’d be like to work there and how the employees describe their line of employment – ‘Oh I scream and grab people in the dark all day, and you?’
We spent one more day exploring Toronto, where I observed the perfectly flat urban sprawl from the famous CN Tower and had my first Taco Bell (where have you been all my life? In foreign countries I suppose). My 12-hour daytime bus back to the Land of the Free was thankfully aboard one of the luxury Greyhounds…”